Top tips for getting that much-needed sleep
When our little ones arrive we are in awe of them, all we want to do is hold them, keep them close and protect them – that’s normal.
What also comes along for new parents – regardless if it’s your first or fifth – is tiredness.
During the first few years, little ones go through so much, from developmental milestones to new experiences. Who would have thought that excitement and frustration could be one and the same?
I’ve put together some tips to help you and your family – it’s never too early or late to start them!
Pre-sleep means both bedtime and nap time. Having a pre-nap routine has the same principles as a bedtime routine. Having a routine helps your little one to produce the sleep hormone, melatonin, making it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep, giving them a more restful sleep.
Our little ones thrive on consistency, it reassures them and helps to keep them calm. Changing things continuously causes upset and confusion which can lead to sleep challenges. If you decide to change your approach, stick with it for a few days.
Be consistent with waking up at the same time each morning – this helps to set them up for the day, kick-starting their circadian rhythm.
Overtiredness produces the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, giving our little ones a ‘second wind’. These hormones make it more difficult for them to fall asleep and stay asleep, often causing early morning wake-ups.
Making sure your little one is getting age-appropriate sleep needs with the correct wake window can help prevent overtiredness.
An environment which is conducive to sleep is important. The room should be dark; temperature between 16 – 20c; remove anything that might stimulate them and keep the cot clear of any hazards eg pillows, sheets or toys. For toddlers, ensure all furniture is safe and secure.
Lastly, work together as a team.
P.S. My extra secret tip – ssssshhh!!
Lots of amazing people will give you advice and tips that worked for them. Some of that advice will work for you and some won’t. Don’t feel pressured to do what others are doing. You know your little one better than anyone. As long as you follow Safer Sleep guidelines, do what works for you.
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